Magnetite (twinned)
Small Cabinet, 7.5 x 6.5 x 4.9 cm
Huanggang Mines, Hexigten Banner, Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China

This sharp, dramatically-displayed Magnetite crystal is masquerading as something quite interesting, pretending to be simple when actually it is an extremely rare twin of the species! The commanding crystal you see is pseudohexagonal in outwardly appearance; however, the faces you see are of a modified dodecahedron of the isometric crystal system. Looking at the edges of the crystal, revealed by the inward, doubly tapering faces along the edges, it's evident that this is an OUTSTANDING spinel law twinned Magnetite crystal: which is extremely rare, especially in this size! The twin plane runs through the middle of this one and three-quarter inch crystal parallel to the major, flat crystal face in the front. This amazing Magnetite is perched on a mostly Magnetite matrix and highlighted by clusters of stark white Calcite along the edges. Magnetite is a relatively common mineral, especially in iron deposits, and the Huanggang complex of mines is developed in a substantial iron-tin deposit and Magnetite is one of the primary ore minerals. Rarely do we see good crystals of this species available from here as it usually just serves as a matrix for other more attractive minerals (or the miners toss them out since they are heavy and not colorful), but this piece is very significant and deserving of a special place in a collection. Purchased in China in 2015 or so, and only recently trimmed from a big ugly rock matrix, this was indeed a lucky trim (courtesy of the in-house trimming skills of Dr. Tom Campbell!)

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